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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 20, 2012 6:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Prep School Deadheads

Aha. Someone fesses up.

That struck me, too. Here's a question: The image of a Deadhead may be a patchouli-wafting road waif, but in any given crowd (which we've already determined was heavily male), how did the ratio of prep-school Deadheads compare to tour heads? More preppies or more tour heads? Overlapping Venn Diagram?

The guy who got me into the Dead was also from one of those East Coast boarding schools, which serve like .000molecule of the population, but seemed to produce a disproprionate number of Deadheads.

Any one else from a prep school? And why the elite boarding schools in particular? Expendable cash to "tour"? Blowing off steam before getting that job on Wall Street? Just a bunch of really young people living together without mom or dad around?

(For the record, I'm a prep school survivor, too. Though I don't think anyone listened to the Dead. It was a girl's school, though. And if there was some secret pro-Dead underground, I was definitely not cool enough to know.)



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Poster: user unknown Date: Nov 21, 2012 7:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

no prep school here..public high school graduated in '69

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Nov 21, 2012 3:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

This subject was discussed here some time ago...

http://archive.org/post/79770/dead-head-prep-school-connection

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 4:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Ah, but that was six years ago. The statute of limitations on discussions has run out. Interesting; lots of unfamiliar names then! (And a few familiar ones.)

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Nov 21, 2012 4:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Just pointing it out, not implying that the subject is not worth revisiting.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 4:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Interesting stories there, particularly from a poster called "orchiddoctor." I love his reaction to seeing the band in a small club in the Village, I guess, in '69 -- "ugly as sin and loud as hell."

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Nov 21, 2012 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

orchiddoctor = ghostofpig

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 20, 2012 8:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

I can't speak about prep schools, but in my trusty 1995 Deadhead survey, the vast majority of respondents were college-educated middle-class guys in their 20s & early 30s.
Unfortunately, Deadbase didn't seek further into the demographics of deadheads - who actually went to shows & followed the band around? - but it's clear most deadheads were not the road-waif types that got public attention.

Professor Rebecca Adams has written several papers on the sociology of deadheads, which I haven't really paid much attention to, but here is one example which is quite relevant to our discussion -
http://www.ncsociology.org/sociationtoday/deadhead.htm

"The majority of Deadheads have opportunities to occupy privileged positions in our society. Observations at shows reveal that they tend to be Caucasian men from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds. Survey results show that between 63% and 91% of Deadheads were male, and that the vast majority of Deadheads had at least one parent who was a professional or held a white collar job. Given these demographic characteristics, outsiders were justified in expecting Deadheads to be successful, well-groomed, law-abiding citizens rather than unemployed, lazy drug-users as they were depicted in the press...
The irony is, however, that most Deadheads are successful and hardworking by mainstream standards... The vast majority of Deadheads eventually obtain college degrees, and many of them finish graduate school... Most of them are professionals or fill white collar positions... Their level of income varies, but between 15% and 20% of samples including student Deadheads earned $50,000 or more per year... Despite these facts, the negative stereotype of Deadheads prevails."

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 21, 2012 2:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Ah ha! Well, I guess we already discovered some of this when we all described what "we" (Forumites) do a few yrs back, and came to found out that a large number (relatively) have Phuds, are curing cancer, solving world hunger, and otherwise movers and shakers of the First Order.

As I indicated elsewhere (the absence of those able to tour with the band, at least in the "materialist" 70s), all of my DEAD head friends were from middle to upper middle class No or So Cal families, and all went to Cal, Snodfart, UCLA, or some such uni of higher learning...not a slob nor slouche among them (sorry, NC! If you're reading this you know why I really did need a smoking jacket; I come by my small silver spoon legitimately).

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 21, 2012 10:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Cal graduate here (70s), and NONE of the tapers/heads/friends/relatives that I've described here many times were tour types. They--tour folks--were the real minority in my view.

So were the smelly ones. Seriously; I think a small number had a disproportionate impact on the stereotype (as always?)...

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Poster: DeadATL Date: Nov 21, 2012 10:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

And why the elite boarding schools in particular? Expendable cash to "tour"? Blowing off steam before getting that job on Wall Street? Just a bunch of really young people living together without mom or dad around?

I have no grand theory regarding the inordinate number of prep school Deadheads. The kids certainly weren’t touring during the academic year and I don’t recall anyone saying they were on the road during the summer. If I had to pay for a St. Paul’s or Andover education, I’d make darn sure my kid was interning at the NIH or something and not following the Dead.

It would be interesting to see how many remain fans of the band or if their fascination was simply a trend without deep roots among kids at elite northeastern boarding schools. My most recent alumni bulletin mentioned an older alum who “lives in the Bay Area and still has a Skoal ring in jeans and the Grateful Dead playing on his stereo.”

I’m not sure how the basically unsupervised nature of boarding school plays into things. I was exposed to sex and drugs for the first time while away from home – probably earlier than I would have been otherwise. Drugs > Dead or Dead > drugs? Correlation, yes. Causality, ?

I ran into Dead culture again shortly after prep school when I started to rock climb. You were just about guaranteed to see a Stealie on at least one climber’s car in the parking lot of popular crags. However, there was no talk about the band that I recall – it was all about climbing. There is a parallel obsessiveness in the two worlds.


This post was modified by DeadATL on 2012-11-21 18:26:24

This post was modified by DeadATL on 2012-11-21 18:26:45

This post was modified by DeadATL on 2012-11-21 18:44:00

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 6:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

That's interesting about climbers. It makes sense; come to think of it, that's my impression, too.

Obsessiveness + drawn to risky behavior + penchant for focused attention + the kind of techie orientation that you find in tapers + disinclination to live in the straight suit-and-tie world + appreciation for the natural, earthy and real vs the glossy and urban + you need something on the tape deck during those long car rides ...

As for preppie Deadheads, I'd bet 80 percent were just doing the trend. Which is fine. It's what you do when you're 17 or something. Trends go around, and for some reason, the Dead was a trend that went around those boarding schools. Maybe at some point kids just visited their big brothers at their dorms, and then the trend caught fire and went on and on ...






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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Nov 21, 2012 7:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

They seem to have been trending at those boarding schools mighty heavily in the Touch-head era.

And I can see in the pics of earlier times that they boy-girl ratio was a tad unbalanced, but that was not true post '87. Thank God. (We have to have some things that were the best of times...)

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 7:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Which leads to the conclusion that when things get trendy, the girls get on board. Sigh.

Or maybe it was those dancing bears. Seriously, I think there was a much more warm-n-fuzzy tone to the Dead image post '87. It was touched with nostalgia for an imagined peace-oriented 60s (as opposed to the intense revolutionary careening-over-the-cliffs one) ... heck, even Jerry was this grey-haired comforting Santa peering over his glasses. He morphed from Captain Trips to Jer Bear.



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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 20, 2012 9:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Where Weir met Barlow:

http://www.fvs.edu/

Not East Coast, but definitely a renowned prep school (kind of a nursery school for Bohemian Grove....)

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 4:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Which explains the izod shirts.

I knew he'd gone to a boarding school, but I actually thought it was more of an alternative school. That looks serious! ($45,000 a year worth of serious. Before you pay for the horses.)

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Nov 21, 2012 8:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Yeah, Weir always did strike me as sort of the least "gangsta" of all the members of the band. I mean just in terms of having a kind of hardscrabble authenticity. Jerry and Pig certainly had it. Even Mickey to a certain degree, the son of a small-time musician. Phil didn't really have it, but was so unassuming and awkward looking that he kind of fit in -- every gang needs its geek. And then there's Weir, who looks like he'd be just as comfortable on Wall Street as the Haight.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 7:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Or in Phish.

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Poster: Deadhead225 Date: Nov 21, 2012 11:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Expendable cash to "tour"?

This may be a misconception. I did a study on it after I had been touring for a number of years. I determined that if we cooked our own food in the lot, it actually cost less to live on the road than it did normally. If you sold shirts, tapecovers or whatever it was even cheaper. Gas was cheap, and it cost nothing to stay somewhere. That said, later on we stayed at places that cost way more than being at home but you could not race the 2 concierge elevators after a show at home either like you could at the Marriot Marquis in Atlanta, so that was worth something. Priceless.

That would have been a good one for the New Yorker. Especially if they could have seen the 450lb guy in a tie-dye holding a half gallon of Jack and a half gallon of Tanqueray in one elevator and the skinny heads in the other. Pigeon hole that.





This post was modified by Deadhead225 on 2012-11-21 19:31:09